Small school expects big play from seniors

Senior Aly Hodges takes over the Knights offense from Tia Breckler, who graduated last spring. - DANIELLE SZULCZEWSKI Sports Reporter
Senior Aly Hodges takes over the Knights offense from Tia Breckler, who graduated last spring.
— image credit: DANIELLE SZULCZEWSKI Sports Reporter

MARYSVILLE — When it comes to athletics at class 1B schools, most don’t have a lot of resources.

Highland Christian is a good example — the former Master’s Touch, their teams play most of their home games on other schools’ courts. The girls basketball team plays at the old Tenth Street School in Marysville, a building with graffiti on the walls and windows as the girls practice inside.

But one resource Highland Christian happens to have this year is plenty of seniors. Despite graduating four starters off last year’s team, athleticism and senior girls aren’t lacking on this Knights’ basketball squad. Senior Chelsey Graber is the only regular starter back from last year’s team, but she’s expected to be surrounded by familiar teammates, including two from the recently-concluded volleyball season.

According to coach Steve Brown, senior Aly Hodges, a setter from the volleyball team, will take over the offense at point guard. The girls will be joined by fellow spiker Kaila Graber.

Two more talents round out Brown’s early projection for the starting five, freshman Esther Brown and senior Kylie Burrows.

“Kylie Burrows is a strong post player,” Brown said. “She has good fundamentals and good work ethic.”

For a freshman, Brown’s daughter Esther is tall and demonstrates good speed and ball-handling in practice drills. As the varsity team scrimmages, Brown drives the ball effectively around her teammates from midcourt to the low post.

The coach counts Esther and fellow freshman Sarah Tuemler among his up-and-coming players.

“We’ve got some quickness,” he said, adding, “With our seniors, we’ve got a good athletic group.”

Brown added that he expects his team to remain competitive against rivals like North Sound Christian and Lummi, with whom they’ve clashed for the Northwest Conference in the past.

“We have respect for all the teams,” he added.

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